Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Leading from a Distance
I got a postcard in the mail yesterday announcing a new church start in our hometown. It was almost predictable when I saw it on our kitchen table. Very slick publication, heavyweight paper, high resolution photo, text written in a way to try and be hip, or at least somewhat in touch and funny, map to location (middle school auditorium), an appeal to attend and find out how to balance all the pressures of life and finally, anonymously addressed to "our friends at..." I can't say I'm bothered by the mailer, or even think there's anything wrong with it, but something doesn't sit right with me anymore when I see those kinds of things. I must give others the benefit of the doubt and not force them to ask the same questions I am asking. So please don't view this as a judgement on the mailer. See it as one man's attempt to reconcile his own inner tension. I used to be able to subscribe to those kinds of techniques, but today it seems so very impersonal. I gave a lot of years of my life to "leading from a distance." What I mean by that term is being up front and public, speaking or leading music to an audience that I really didn't know. To look out over a crowd of people is pretty thrilling, and to think they are willing to listen to what you have to say is good for the ego, but something about it was very unfulfilling. it always left me wondering what the impact was. How would I ever know? Nice advice would be given to stay faithful and remember that the LORD sees your work, but that never really satisfied. I think I'm yearning for more direct contact with people, to "lead up close." I used to love being in front of a bunch of people. I recently had a guy call me to be an interim worship leader for their church, but I turned him down. I just can't imagine ever doing it again. I enjoy people I interact with at work, and the conversations I have there much more. But I'm not convinced that this shift is all good.